Art Glass Tiles:
From The Ordinary
To The Extraordinary
by Jack Healy
“Art glass tiles” are a road less travelled. They are made by studio glass artists in smaller lots and are generally made specifically for a client or project. Generally these tiles can be customized specifically to a client's color, texture, style and size preferences and even incorporate custom designs to match other motifs in the room. For example, would you like your tiles to match certain fabrics, a specific paint color or type of stone? Would you like a continuous wall panel or smaller accent tiles? These are the types of variation that can be specified when ordering art glass tiles.
The versatility of art glass tiles textures and appearance is at best, very difficult to emulate on a manufacturing line. The glass artisan specializing in tiles has many glass colors and styles to choose from when creating these works of art just as a painter has myriad shades of colors on their palette. And as the application is specifically designed for, there might be a little more effort involved in having tiles “made to order”, but the result will truly be one-of-a-kind.
To stretch your budget, consider using factory glass tiles as the “field tiles” and mixing in custom art glass “accent tiles”. Field tiles make up the bulk of the tiles in any project whereas accent tiles can be incorporated in much smaller quantities. Glass Art accessories such as accent tiles are the ideal solution for enhancing any room. Combine glass with woods, metals and textiles to create dynamic, memorable interior designs.
Another possibility when working with glass tiles is matching your custom art glass tiles to custom glass vessel sinks or art glass lighting such as chandeliers, pendants and sconces. There are very few mediums that offer this type of design versatility. The work of glass artisans can be coordinated to go far beyond simple wall covering, to create several coordinating functional works of art for your home.
To explore the custom glass option that is right for you, you can go to favorite artists, or go to a custom glass dealer. Major tile dealers tend to deal in high volume sales, and are not usually positioned to offer art glass solutions. Instead, as art glass grows in popularity, and the internet is increasingly adopted as a low-cost distribution and promotion mechanism, we are seeing a trend towards glass art collectives and glass art dealers on the web. These organizations showcase the work of several artists; and provide services that range from simple sales channels to design support for integrated glass design for the home.
An example of such a service is the company I own and curate, the Glass Artists Gallery. We have been helping designers and homeowners all across North America with art glass tiles, lighting, sinks and other functional glass art for years. This is not really a “brick and mortar gallery” but rather a resource for the trade and discerning homeowners for functional and architectural glass.
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